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  • Stephanie Wilson

Why Gavin Newsom, the State of California, and My Family are Boycotting Walgreens

Updated: Mar 21, 2023

Or, When the second-largest pharmacy chain in America collapses in the face of MAGA pressure instead of providing access to healthcare.
by Stephanie Gerber Wilson, PhD

Last week, in response to a letter from nearly two dozen MAGA Attorneys General, Walgreens announced it would not sell the medication Mifepristone in 20 states. The medication,(Politico) which is an FDA approved synthetic steroid medication, terminates early pregnancy AND is an approved therapy for Cushing’s Disease and uterine fibroids (NIH) (which I suffered with for years). In several of the states where Walgreens has refused to distribute Mifepristone, abortion remains legal. In fact, in some of them, like Kansas, Kentucky, and Montana, voters specifically voted to KEEP abortion legal in past year. (New York Times)

In January 2023, the FDA approved a new rule to allow pharmacies to become certified to cell the combination of medications (including Mifepristone) that make up the majority of abortions in the United States. Previously, the FDA only allowed the drugs to be dispensed directly by physicians and, beginning with Covid, through online pharmacies. (Washington Post)

After this new rule, 20 MAGA Attorneys General threatened legal action against Walgreens if they attempted to sell the medication in their states. And Walgreens caved.

My family will not be shopping at Walgreens anymore, even though we live in a state where abortion is legal and protected. We won’t be shopping at Walgreens even though I won’t seek to have an abortion, because I no longer have a uterus. We will #BoycottWalgreens because this company has decided to curtail the medical freedom of women in 20 states because the MAGA extreme right wing has threatened them.

Gavin Newsom has had the same idea. But he’s the Governor of a state whose economy would be the fourth largest in the world if it were an independent nation. Newsom declared this week that California will not do business with Walgreens. He tweeted, “Callifornia won’t be doing business with Walgreens or any company that cowers to the extremists and puts women’s lives at risk. We’re done.” (NBC News)

Walgreens’ stock plummeted after this announcement. (MSN)

MAGA fascists have waged a crusade against reproductive freedom and adopted bans in many states where they control the legislature and/or the governor’s mansion. But we know that the vast majority of the American people are in favor of reproductive freedom and abortion access. (Pew Research)

In fact, in several MAGA controlled states, abortion access was put to a vote last year, and in Kansas, Kentucky, Montana, Michigan, California and Vermont, voters overwhelmingly chose to keep abortion legal. (New York Times)

Pete Buttigieg, during his campaign for the Democratic nomination for president, offered one of the most eloquent discussions on why government has no role in a woman’s decision over her own body.

MAGA target women’s medical freedom for the same reason that they target the medical freedom of transgender people—not because they misunderstand the reasons people have abortions, and not because they don’t understand gender dysphoria.

MAGA tries to eliminate medical freedom and personal expression because they want the most vulnerable Americans to be without choices, without hope, and without the optimism that comes with being able to control whether and when to have children, whom to love and marry, and how to express their deepest sense of identity.

MAGA’s strategy of removing freedom, hope, and our ability to live our best lives is straight out of the #JimCrow and #Fascist playbooks, and it’s part of MAGA White Christian Nationalists’ attempt to grab and keep power at the expense of everyone who is not White, Christian, cisgender, heterosexual, and wealthy. This is why my family will #BoycottWalgreens, and its why I urge you to do so as well.

This article is also on WTG: What the Gerrymander? Substack. Please register for free or paid subscription and help support our work. Or, if you can, please donate to HVA to keep the content coming and help us create Blue Indiana.


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